The new pad…

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So here I am, in my new position at UEA – Media Learning Technologist – and I’m in charge of the new media provision over in the Music Building, currently only partially finished, but with a lot of changes happening over the summer.

This is what the spaces are now and I’ve got a lot of cataloguing and recycling to get on with before it’s completely remodelled, but it’s a hacker heaven with the older tech that we have accumulated…

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The Strode room, which will not be changing but the Balcony will be filled in.PANO_20160408_110329

Current Radio/Recording roomPANO_20160420_161415

So this is the TV studioTV Studio

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The ZigguratsUEA_ext1

The CETL front office, check out the gorgeous meeting table!26296973856_a89585ac92_k

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Creative Coding Week 1 & 2 #creativecoding

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Future eLearn have some fantastic free online courses, MOOC’s and I have been immersing myself in their creative coding one at every opportunity. Although I’m a couple of weeks behind the latest modules, because I can take it and learn at any time, I’ll catch up, or just finish at my own pace, therein lies the beauty and flexibility of the concept!

Use computer programming as a creative discipline to generate sounds, images, animations and more, with this free online course.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/creative-coding

Coding

In the first two weeks I have made my name in a lovely little interactive drawing canvas, see above, and we have been introduced to great interactive and digital artists using processing and creative code within their art.

I am hoping that I can spot a link between these kind of basic interactions and my own interactive sculpture, or artworks, as I still want people to interact and not be passive within galleries or museums.

Daniel Rozin, particularly interests me and one of his latest works is fascinating to watch…

List from the course of artists and designers and researchers in interaction design.

Photography Comparison D90 D7000 X30 Part 1 – ISO

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For a long while I have wanted to compare my D7000 with a D90, and as I am in the process of producing a simple photography elearning package to explain Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to compare them side by side for quality and noise handling at extreme iso.

The D90, a classic and fantastic camera since 2008. Used with my 17-55mm f2.8 portrait lens.

The D90, a classic and fantastic DSLR camera since 2008. Used with my 17-55mm f2.8 portrait lens.

D7000

D7000 (2010) using a 50mm prime lens

The Fujifilm X30

The Fujifilm X30 (2014) a capable and portable camera which you can take full manual control of.

Recently I have brought an Fuji X30 to be my always carry camera, so thought I’d add that in too…

I could list all of the stats and specs, but if you want that in-depth number crunching check out the great reviews on dpreview..

D90 http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond90

D7000 http://www.dpreview.com/products/nikon/slrs/nikon_d7000

X30 http://www.dpreview.com/products/fujifilm/compacts/fujifilm_x30

Starting with ISO the photos I have taken are really quite revealing…

D90 ISO comparison

Comparing the ISO handling of the D90, a lot of digital grain comes in at 3200 (top left) compare to ISO 400 (bottom right)

The D90 really takes an excellent picture, but it’s ISO quality when you ramp it up to the top of it’s numbered range is pretty bad, the digital grain is very present and I would find this unacceptable, even at 1600 the grain is too obvious.

D7000 ISO comparison, using both the 50mm and 17-55mm lens

D7000 ISO comparison, using both the 50mm and 17-55mm lens

The D7000 has fantastic control of grain, even at 3200 the resulting image is acceptable to use, the only problem with this image is I have got the focus slightly wrong, but there’s not a dot of grain to bother the image… very impressive. I used both lenses just in case it made any difference as I used the 50mm on the D90.

The Fuji X30 ISO comparison

The Fuji X30 ISO comparison

The X30 did surprisingly well too (even with it’s smaller sensor), although it has handled the grain in a different way, it seems somehow smoother, perhaps more blurry at the 3200 end, which isn’t too bad a thing.

On this occasion the D7000 has it on ISO and this from a camera that’s 5 years old, I remember when I bought it I tested it’s ISO against my other work camera, the Canon 5D and it excelled at low light performance in those tests too…

I would be very interested to check out the new D7200 alongside these cameras, but my budget only goes so far!

All of these images are straight jpegs from the camera with no alteration, and no in camera enhancement, put into photoshop so I can compare them directly side by side.

I will be using these sets of images to explain ISO in an elearning package I’m putting together for my students currently, it takes a bit of time to setup, but will be well worth it..

Next comes the Aperture control… but that’s for another post!

Articulate vs Captivate

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I love playing with new technology and coming with that is an aptitude for testing new software and in my role as a Multimedia Developer I have been tasked with looking at new elearning software for City College.

I have been assessing and researching two of the leading elearning software brands with their free 30 day trials of each. These were narrowed down from four or five (iSpring, Lectora, Elucidat) by talking to other professionals and online research.

Although I have used Captivate 5 for a while now, I was keen to see what captivate 8 had in store and had previously trialled the first version of Articulate so felt I had a good starting position for an evaluation for my company.

Articulate vs Captivate Comparison

Adobe captivate import choices:

  • For a straight powerpoint import you can check each slide you wish to bring in
  • Comes in with all of the powerpoint timings and bulleted text animations
  • You cannot edit the text in Captivate, but you can edit the linked powerpoint file
  • Opening up powerpoint in a pop up window so that you can adjust text, etc

Every mouse click that advanced the ppt file has been kept and the slides have their individual timings and reveals included, but nothing is editable within captivate itself.

You can also open a ppt file and have it unlinked, but again if you want to edit the text or image or timing, you can only do so by editing the slide in captivates ‘ppt’ pop-out edit area.

So although everything imports from Powerpoint beautifully, I still have to copy and paste the individual items if I want to make them interactive or correct a spelling mistake.

Articulate

The text and images are all immediately editable with Articulate.

With the separate layers you can easily see all of the individual elements. Some of the timings are present, and the audio has come through.

Working in Captivate

Editing images is a much simpler operation in Storyline as all of the options appear on a right click.

Once you have found the edit image section in Captivate you find a more limited set of functions.

Conclusion

Importing projects from powerpoint 5 2
General ease of use 4 3
Quiz questions and options 4 4
Image editing 4 3
Recording & editing a screen simulation 4 3
Customisation 5 3
Output 4* 4*
Active online community 5 2
PPT conversion Time 3 hrs 5hrs

 

Captivate has a more limiting powerpoint feel to it, basic adjustments, working within more rigid boundaries and a harder learning curve, plus there is not the community support group online.

Articulate has a better user interface, is quicker to put simple quizzes together and make minor adjustments within them, and produces e-learning that looks immediately better without having to delve too deep into the settings, and therefore quicker to pick up.

Another plus for Articulate is the very active and lively online community where they promote sharing of new templates and enhancements that will enable the user to focus on the learning design aspect rather than the software obstacles.

I have looked at many comparisons and reviews between Captivate and Articulate and they both have devoted fans of each platform leading me to believe that both are fully capable pieces of software, but, I found Articulate the quickest to get going with, providing the best import from powerpoint and many ready to go good looking templates with varied uses.

In my evaluation and testing Articulate also needed the least time to produce a better looking product, with my starting point for both test projects as a supplied powerpoint.

Using Articulate it took me 3 hours to convert the project into a simple quiz and screen simulation whereas working with Captivate took me 5 hours.

Articulate has the edge in almost all aspects in my testing and I would recommend this as the software.

 

This is my shortened report, if you would like to read the full report, you view it here (Word Document)

History Conversion Articulate vs Captivate Conclusion – TT